Friday, July 19, 2024

Strike causes chaos at Amsterdam airport as holiday begins


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport urged travelers to stay away for several hours on Saturday as a strike by ground workers at the start of a school holiday caused chaos at Europe’s third-busiest airport.

“The lounge is very full at the moment… Schiphol invites passengers not to come to the airport anymore,” the airport authorities said in a statement issued shortly before noon (1000 GMT).

About three hours later, the airport said passengers were welcome again, but they still faced long waits and potential delays or cancellations.

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Police briefly closed motorway exits to the airport on Saturday afternoon as lines ran at departure gates outside the terminal buildings.

Travelers wait in queues at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an unannounced strike by ground staff caused many delays and cancellations, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on April 23, 2022. REUTERS/Anthony Deutsch

A Schiphol spokesman said the temporary closure was necessary to ensure safety and to get as many thousands of frustrated passengers as possible on their often delayed flights.

Baggage handling for KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA)Early on Saturday, he had launched a previously unannounced strike to press for higher wages and better working conditions.

KLM ground staff handle about half of all baggage coming through Schiphol, the third busiest airport in Europe after Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Heathrow.

The trade union FNV said the strike ended at noon.

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(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch) Writing by Bart Meijer; Editing by David Holmes

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Rosario Tejeda
Rosario Tejeda
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